Protecting pets from the bitter cold

MedVet talks cold weather safety for dogs and cats.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – The cold isn’t just dangerous for people, pets are at risk too. Veterinarians say hypothermia in pets is a real threat, especially when temperatures dip below 20 degrees.

“We think about horses and cattle that are out in the cold all the time, they’re cold-adapted but dogs and cats are not,” says Dr. Dianne Dawes, an ER Veterinarian at MedVet.

Depending on the size and fur length of your pet, some are susceptible to hypothermia in just 20- 30 minutes, according to MedVet.

“Keeping them as warm as we can keep them and keeping them out for the least amount of time that we can,” says Dawes. “Go out, go to the bathroom, come back in.”

Another issue facing pets in the winter is the salt used to melt ice and snow. While this is a helpful tool for humans getting around, vets say just a few minutes of a dog or cat walking on it can give them chemical burns.

“Cats and dogs are real prone to licking their feet so if they ingest it then we have to worry about the amount of sodium that’s in the salt,” says Dawes. “That can cause medical problems as well.”

So how can pet owners keep their animals safe and healthy in winter months? Dawes recommends little rubber boots for your pet’s paws to protect from the salt and keep their feet warm. Pet stores like the Bluegrass Barkery also have pet-safe snow melt you can buy for your sidewalks or driveway.

“They can be having a good time, but if they’re freezing you want to make sure you’re doing what you can to make sure that internally they’re staying OK because dogs don’t always tell you what they’re feeling,” says pet owner Jordyn Frake.

The next couple of days are supposed to stay under freezing and while MedVet says it hasn’t seen any salt burn or hypothermia cases yet, it wants people to be aware of the best practices to keep your four-legged friends safe during the cold weather.

Categories: Featured, Local News, News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *